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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 25 November 2020

Eighty per cent of parents worried about school costs

A new budget planner has been introduced as parents voice their concerns over the cost of schooling their children.

EIGHTY PER CENT of parents are worried the costs of sending their children to school this September.

And new research on behalf of the National Consumer Agency also shows that 74 per cent of parents of children (in both primary and secondary school) are more concerned about back to school costs this year than they were last year.

Almost half (48 per cent) of those worried about the costs said that this was because their income was less than it had been the previous year.

Meanwhile, more than a quarter (26 per cent) of parents said they don’t budget for the new school year, and 49 per cent encounter ‘unforeseen payments’ such as school donations.

When it comes to school uniforms, nine out 10 parents think they should be able to buy uniforms and school crests separately, rather than having to buy them from a designated shop.

Education Minister Ruairí Quinn commented:

I know that many families are under severe financial pressure due to the economic downturn. I am committed to keeping costs down as far as possible for parents when it comes to school expenses.

He has met with parent groups, the St Vincent de Paul and educational book publishers to look at ways of reducing the cost of school books.

The NCA has launched a back to school budget planner to help parents plan and manage their spending.

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Ann Fitzgerald, chief executive of the NCA said:

We are strongly in favour of primary and secondary school boards of management allowing parents to purchase the uniform and crest separately rather than in a designated uniform shop as this could lead to significant savings.

The budget planner and money saving tips are available here.

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